Review Category : National News

Washington Mall Shooting Suspect in Custody, Police Say

Skagit County DEM(BURLINGTON, Wash.) — The suspect in the shooting at a mall in Washington state that left five people dead has been taken into custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The shooting occurred Friday evening at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles north of Seattle. Police said the suspect entered the mall shortly before 7 p.m. and opened fire roughly 10 minutes later in the makeup department of Macy’s, police said.

Surveillance video images released by authorities showed that the suspect, whom police described as Hispanic and in his late teens or early 20s, went into the mall without the rifle that he shortly after brandished in the department store.

Four women, ranging in age from teens to seniors, were killed, and a man who had sustained life-threatening injuries died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle early Saturday morning, several hours after he was taken there, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol.

Police have said they believe the suspect acted alone, and the FBI said it had no indication that the shooting was linked to terrorism.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for more details.

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Multiple Victims Reported After Shooting in Baltimore, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — As many as eight people were shot Saturday night in Baltimore, according to police, including a 3-year-old girl.

Police said at this point there were no life-threatening injuries and three suspects were being pursued.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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Take a 360 VR Tour Inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Astrid Riecken/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — One hundred years in the making, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors to the public Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Black Civil War veterans first suggested the museum in 1915, but it had to wait until the 21st century and for Congress to pass legislation in 2003 before plans to make the museum a reality took shape.

The 400,000-square-foot museum sits on the National Mall across from the Washington Monument. It includes 12 inaugural exhibitions and close to 37,000 artifacts, but only 3,000 will be on display.

The opening of the museum is attracting a high number of visitors with timed entry passes selling out quickly. If you cannot make it to the grand opening and are waiting for tickets, explore the NMAAHC with ABC News in this 360-degree video that features museum highlights, taking you through some of the galleries and spotlighting the museum’s signature artifacts.

Watch the full 360-degree video here.

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Charlotte Police Release Video of Keith Lamont Scott Shooting

Rakeyia Scott(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, released some of the department’s tapes of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which has sparked days of protests across the city.

Police Chief Kerr Putney announced the release at a news conference Saturday, saying that other footage will come later.

In the dash cam video Scott is seen exiting his car, he then walks backwards with his hands before four shots are heard. It is unclear whether there is anything in his hands.

The actual shooting is neither seen nor heard in the body cam footage.

Officer Brentley Vinson, identified by police as the officer who shot Scott, cannot be seen firing his weapon in either video.

The chief says the tapes show that Scott was “absolutely” in possession of a handgun and will offer “indisputable evidence” of the department’s account, and he said that at this point, he the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will not be charging any officer in the shooting. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the case.

Putney said officers were conducting surveillance related to a warrant they intended to serve on someone else, but their attention was drawn to Scott. They saw marijuana and a weapon in Scott’s car and said believed, “this is a safety issue for us and the public,” the police chief said.

He said Scott was shot after he did not follow police commands to drop his weapon.

“At every encounter, people can make a decision to follow loud, verbal commands. They (officers) were reacting to what they saw and they have a duty to do so,” Putney said.

He added that he believes the footage can now be released without jeopardizing the investigation.

The police announcement came after hundreds of people gathered in Charlotte’s Marshall Park demanding the release of the police video footage, marching peacefully under the hot sun in, chanting and holding signs that said “Release the Tape.”

Calls to release the footage had intensified after Scott’s family released cell phone video of the moments leading up to and after the shooting Tuesday.

A woman identified as Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, recorded the incident with her phone and the video was provided to ABC News on Friday by attorneys for the Scott family. In the video, Rakeyia Scott can be heard pleading with police to not shoot her husband, a 43-year-old black man, as officers order the man to “drop the gun.” As the encounter continues, the woman yells back at police, insisting her husband is harmless and doesn’t have a weapon.

“He doesn’t have a gun,” she says. “He has a T.B.I. [traumatic brain injury]. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”

Police repeatedly scream at Keith Lamont Scott to “drop the gun” and, moments later, multiple gunshots ring out. The actual shooting is not shown on the video as Rakeyia Scott points her cellphone at the ground and screams, “Did you shoot him?” She then runs closer to the scene, angling the cellphone camera this time at the spot where her husband was shot. Scott’s body is seen lying in the street surrounded by several officers.

The cellphone video is the first footage of Scott’s deadly encounter with police to be publicly released. One of the attorneys representing the Scott family, Charles G. Monnett, said they released the video “in the name of truth and transparency.”

“The family is still hopeful that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and city of Charlotte will release all available video of the incident to the public so that people can draw their own conclusions about Keith’s death,” Monnett said. “We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are known. This is simply one step in our quest to find the truth for this family.”

During the rally Saturday in Charlotte, activists and religious leaders joined protesters’ calls for investigators to release the videos. Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP, told the crowd amid cheers that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had launched an investigation into the case.

“As of today, there is an official investigation from the DOJ,” Mack said. “That investigation is a preliminary investigation right now.”

The DOJ’s Community Relations Service has said it is “is working to maintain open lines of communication and ease tension in Charlotte,” but the department has not yet decided whether to open an investigation. The DOJ did not immediately reply to ABC News’ request for comment on Mack’s statement.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said its officers were searching for a suspect who had an outstanding warrant when they encountered Scott in a vehicle outside an apartment complex around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Scott was not the suspect that officers sought but that he was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to remain inside his car and drop the weapon.

An officer subsequently fired his gun, striking Scott, who police said was treated immediately and later pronounced dead.

Vinson, who has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since July 21, 2014, and is currently assigned to the metro division. He has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation into Scott’s death is ongoing, according to Putney.

Vinson, who is black, was not wearing a body camera at the time, but the other officers who responded to the incident were, police said. A dashboard camera also recorded the incident. Police have not publicly released any footage but Scott’s family have reviewed the video that shows the moment when police fatally shot the man, the family’s attorney told ABC News on Thursday.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the videos show Scott with a gun in his hand during his interaction with police officers, who gave “loud, clear, verbal commands,” before he was shot and killed. However, Putney admitted that the footage he reviewed does not provide “definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.” The police chief also said the video evidence alone does not establish whether the shooting was justified.

Scott’s family, however, maintains he was not holding a gun and he was just waiting for his son to be dropped off from school. Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing Scott’s family, said in a statement Thursday that it’s “impossible” to detect from the police footage what Scott is holding and at no point did Scott appear or act aggressively.

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Manhunt Continues for Gunman in Seattle-Area Mall Shooting That Killed 5

iStock/Thinkstock(BURLINGTON, Wash.) — A manhunt continued Saturday for an unidentified suspect in a shooting at a Seattle-area mall Friday night that killed five people.

The suspected gunman entered the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles north of Seattle, and 10 minutes later, at about 7 p.m. local time, opened fire in the makeup department of Macy’s, police said.

Surveillance video images released by authorities showed that the suspect, whom police described as Hispanic and in his late teens or early 20s, went into the mall without the rifle that he shortly after brandished in the department store.

Four women, ranging in age from teens to seniors, were killed, and a man who had sustained life-threatening injuries died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle early Saturday morning, several hours after he was taken there, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol.

Skagit County Coroner Hayley Thompson said at a press conference Saturday morning that the victims’ identities will be released once autopsies are complete and next of kin notified.

Police believe the suspect acted alone, and the FBI said it has no indication at this point that the shooting is linked to terrorism.

“We have no indication this was a terrorism act,” Michael Knutson, assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle FBI, said at the press conference. “There is no evidence to support that.”

But Knutson cautioned, “I cannot discount it.”

Mount Vernon Police Lt. Chris Cammock said the motive for the deadly shooting is unknown.

Law enforcement officers responding to the shooting locked down the mall and searched it thoroughly, but later found out that the suspect had fled prior to their arrival, police said, adding that they had recovered the suspected weapon.

Police said the suspect was last seen walking toward Interstate 5, and they appealed to the public for help in identifying and finding him.

“We could certainly use the community’s help on that,” Cammock told reporters Saturday morning.

If anyone has information about the #CascadeMallShooting suspect, please call police 360-428-3211 or scinv@co.skagit.wa.us pic.twitter.com/uN6a5AYixd

— Skagit County DEM (@SkagitDEM) September 24, 2016

Police initially said four people were dead, but then revised the figure to three, before updating it back to four fatalities. And police initially said one female sustained non-life threatening injuries, but that was incorrect. Sgt. Francis of the state patrol said the numbers fluctuated as authorities searched the 434,000 square-foot mall and surrounding parking lot, which remain closed for the investigation.

Mall employees and shoppers said they hid in stores and fitting rooms during the shooting.

“Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Armando Patino, who was working at the mall’s T-Mobile store, told ABC affiliate KOMO. “I hear one shot and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying gun.”

Patino added, “I turn around and run to the store. Some people didn’t know where to go. I just moved them into the [T-Mobile] store. We went in the back where we have a door and everything and we just stayed there until they told us to evacuate.”

Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant near Macy’s department store at the mall, told The Associated Press she immediately locked the doors to the restaurant after hearing about the shooting from an employee’s boyfriend.

“He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming,” Bose said. “It was frantic.”

And Tari Caswell, a shopper in the women’s dressing room in Macy’s told the Skagit Valley Herald she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping.”

“Then I heard seven or eight more, and I just stayed quiet in the dressing room because it just didn’t feel right. And it got very quiet,” Caswell said. “And then I heard a lady yelling for help, and a man came and got me and another lady, and we ran out of the store.”

Approximately 200 local and regional law enforcement officers from more than 26 agencies responded to the shooting Friday night to secure the scene and evacuate employees and patrons. Authorities performed an initial sweep of the mall to ensure it had been evacuated, followed by a secondary search. Police said they spent at least an hour interviewing some 20 witnesses that evening.

Additionally, both the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting the investigation.

In a statement Friday night, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee urged residents “heed all safety and detour warnings. Stay close to your friends and loved ones as we await more information and, hopefully, news of the suspect’s capture.”

And at the news conference Saturday morning, Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton called the shooting a “senseless act” that has forever changed the city.

“But I don’t think our way of life needs to change forever,” Sexton told reporters. “We’re going to get beyond this.

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Charlotte Police to Release Video of Keith Lamont Scott Shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said police would release the department’s tapes of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which has sparked days of protests across the city.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory released a statement agreeing with the police chief’s decision.

“I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed,” the governor said. “We have appreciated the ongoing dialogue and team work between state and city officials to seek public transparency while protecting the integrity of the investigation and the rights of all parties involved in this case.”

This is a breaking news story. Check back for more.

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What We Know About the Videos Charlotte Police Haven’t Released

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Varying interpretations have emerged of the videos that are said to show the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, after both law enforcement and the victim’s family viewed the footage.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said its officers were searching for a suspect who had an outstanding warrant when they encountered Scott, a 43-year-old black man, in a vehicle outside an apartment complex around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Scott was not the suspect that officers sought but that he was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to remain inside his car and drop the weapon.

An officer subsequently fired his gun, hitting Scott, who police said was treated immediately and later pronounced dead. Police have identified the officer involved in the shooting as Brentley Vinson, who has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since July 21, 2014, and is currently assigned to the metro division. He has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation into Scott’s death is ongoing, according to Police Chief Kerr Putney. Vinson is African-American.

Vinson was not wearing a body camera at the time, but the other officers who responded to the incident were, police said. A dashboard camera also recorded the incident. Police have not publicly released any footage but Scott’s family have reviewed the video that shows the moment when police fatally shot the man, the family’s attorney told ABC News on Thursday.

What Police Say About the Videos

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the footage shows Scott with a gun in his hand during his interaction with police officers before he was shot and killed. Police also told ABC News that the gun seen in pictures taken at the scene is the weapon they recovered.

However, Police Chief Putney admitted that the videos he reviewed do not provide “definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”

“I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed,” he told reporters Thursday. “So what I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we’ve heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott.”

Putney also said the video evidence alone does not establish whether the shooting was justified.

“We have yet to make a case solely on video,” he said at a news conference today. “However, it can be compelling.”

According to Putney, officers in the videos gave Scott “loud, clear, verbal commands” before Officer Vinson shot him.

“The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands, which were also heard by many of the witnesses,” the police chief said at a news conference Wednesday. “Mr. Scott exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as the officers continued to yell at him to drop it.”

What the Family Says About the Videos

Scott’s family has said he was holding a book, not a gun, while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school. After reviewing the footage, the family’s attorney said in a statement that it’s “impossible” to detect what Scott is holding and at no point did Scott appear or act aggressively.

“After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers,” Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing Scott’s family, said in the statement Thursday. “When told by police to exit his vehicle, Mr. Scott did so in a very calm, non-aggressive manner. While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time. It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands.”

When Bamberg spoke with ABC News today, he said there appears to be an object in Scott’s left hand. But Scott was right-handed, Bamberg said, which raises the question as to why he would be holding a gun in his non-dominant hand if he were to shoot someone.

And even if Scott were in fact holding a gun, it’s questionable as to whether he should have been shot and killed, Bamberg told ABC News.

Attorneys for the Scott family provided ABC News with a cellphone video of Scott’s encounter with police. The video was taken by a woman identified as Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, who can be heard pleading with police to not shoot her husband as officers order the man to “drop the gun.”

In the video, Rakeyia Scott yells back at police, insisting her husband is harmless and doesn’t have a weapon.

“He doesn’t have a gun,” she says. “He has a T.B.I. [traumatic brain injury]. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”

Police continue to yell at Scott to “drop the gun” and, moments later, multiple gunshots ring out. The actual shooting is not shown on the video as Rakeyia Scott points her cellphone at the ground and screams, “Did you shoot him?” She then runs closer to the scene, angling the cellphone camera this time at the spot where her husband was shot. Scott’s body is seen lying in the street surrounded by several officers.

The cellphone video is the first footage of Scott’s encounter with police to be publicly released.

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California Cops Buy Bike for Teen Who Walks 2 Hours to Work Every Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A police officers’ association in California bought a bicycle for a local teenager after one cop discovered that he walks four hours to and from work every day.

Corporal Kirk Keffer of the Benicia Police Department found Jourdan Duncan, 19, walking home late one night last week, and offered to give him a ride, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association said in a statement on its website.

Duncan shared his story with Keffer, telling the cop that he was saving money for college and did not have a car or bicycle. He walks from Vallejo, where he lives, to Benicia in order to get to work, according to the association. The two towns are about 8 miles apart.

Keffer then shared the youth’s story with the rest of the police officers’ association and on Monday evening, they surprised Duncan with a new bicycle, purchased by the association.

“You never know someone’s story until you talk to them. A young man’s work ethic and determination moved our officers to help him with his future,” the Benicia Police Department said in a Facebook post.

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New African-American Museum Tells ‘Essential Part’ of American Story, President Obama Says

ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama said Saturday that the nation’s new African-American history museum opening in Washington, D.C., tells “an essential part of our American story.”

“This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” Obama said at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of the president but also the slave, the industrialist but also the porter, the keeper of the status quo but also the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo.”

The Obamas have visited the museum twice ahead of its official opening. On Sept. 14, the first family got a private sneak preview of the museum, and then visited again this week where the president and first lady told Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts of the museum’s significance to children across the country.

“What I think you want is for this generation of kids to come away thinking, ‘Yeah, everybody can do everything,’ that if you’re a little white boy or a little white girl, little black boy, little black girl, a Latino, Asian, if you grow up and you are gay or straight, if you are disabled, that you’re empowered,” he said.

Also to be in attendance at the opening Saturday are former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. It was Bush who in 2003 signed into law a bill to move forward with the building of the museum. Construction broke ground on the National Mall in 2012.

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Seattle-Area Mall Shooting That Killed 5 Shows ‘No Evidence’ of Terrorism: FBI

iStock/Thinkstock(BURLINGTON, Wash.) — The FBI said Saturday that there is no indication of a terrorism link in a shooting at a Seattle-area mall that killed 5.

“We have no indication this was a terrorism act,” an assistant special agent in the FBI’s Seattle office said at a press conference Saturday morning on the shooting. “There is no evidence to support that.”

Authorities are still searching for the gunman who was last seen armed with a rifle after four women and a man were fatally shot Friday night at a shopping mall about 65 miles north of Seattle, Washington State Patrol said.

The victims were shot in the makeup department at Macy’s at Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, before 7 p.m. local time, police said.

In addition to the four women who died earlier, a male who had sustained life-threatening injuries died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, several hours after he had been transported there, Sgt. Mark Francis, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol, announced early Sunday morning.

Police initially said four people were dead, but then revised the figure to three, before updating it back to four fatalities. And police initially said one female sustained non-life threatening injuries, but that was incorrect. Francis said the numbers fluctuated as authorities searched the mall.

Authorities described the “one lone shooter” as a “Hispanic male” wearing a black shirt, who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5. His motive is unknown.

A helicopter, search teams and K-9 units scoured the area around the mall for the suspect.

Sgt. Francis tweeted a photo of the suspect, writing “Here is the shooter. We believe just one shooter … Armed with rifle.”

Mall employees and shoppers said they hid in stores and fitting rooms.

“Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Armando Patino, who was working at the mall’s T-Mobile store, told ABC affiliate KOMO. “I hear one shot and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying gun.”

Patino added, “I turn around and run to the store. Some people didn’t know where to go. I just moved them into the [T-Mobile] store. We went in the back where we have a door and everything and we just stayed there until they told us to evacuate.”

Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant near Macy’s store at the mall, told The Associated Press she immediately locked the doors to the restaurant after hearing about the shooting from an employee’s boyfriend.

“He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming,” she said. “It was frantic.”

And Tari Caswell, a shopper in the Macy’s women’s dressing room told the Skagit Valley Herald she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping,” s

She added, “Then I heard seven or eight more, and I just stayed quiet in the dressing room because it just didn’t feel right. And it got very quiet. And then I heard a lady yelling for help, and a man came and got me and another lady, and we ran out of the store.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement Friday night, “We urge residents to heed all safety and detour warnings. Stay close to your friends and loved ones as we await more information and, hopefully, news of the suspect’s capture.”

Law enforcement officers performed an initial sweep of the mall to ensure it had been evacuated, followed by a secondary search.

Sgt. Francis said police began receiving calls of an active shooter before 7 p.m.

In addition to state and local law enforcement, both the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are involved in the investigation.

The FBI tweeted it has “no information to suggest additional attacks planned in WA state.”

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